Peter Lilley, MP for Hitchin and Harpenden, yesterday launched a stinging attack on the Government?s restructuring of the Post Office network. Speaking in a House of Commons debate, Mr. Lilley warned that the closure of thousands of sub-post offices would greatly inconvenience pensioners and vulnerable people in Hertfordshire.
Peter Lilley said after the debate:
“It is a disgrace that such a significant measure affecting the Post Office was given so little legislative time in the House of Commons. By making it compulsory for pensioners and other vulnerable people to have their pensions and benefits paid into the bank rather than through the Post Office, sub-post offices will lose out on their major source of income. Earlier this year several thousand people in Hitchin and Harpenden signed a petition urging the Government to reconsider this damaging policy.
“When I was Trade Secretary, I was advised that moving in this direction would lead to the collapse of the sub-post office network. This government, which seems to be ignoring similar advice, has decided to press ahead with closing 3000 of the 8000 urban post offices, which it euphemistically calls the ?Urban Post Office Reinvention Programme?. What is more worrying is the fact that over the past year rural post offices have been closing at three times the rate of urban post offices.
“The Government is a long way from closing the financial gap that they opened up in the viability of the post office network. These measures will not come even close to solving the crisis. This is yet another public service failure by Labour.?